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Gartner lowers its 2011 handset sales forecast

20 мая 2011

Gartner revised down its full-year sales estimate to between 1.790 billion and 1.795 billion units. This forecast still represents growth compared to 2010, when 1.6 billion handsets were sold.

"The 13.3 million-unit growth in channel inventory, along with some softness in demand from users in emerging markets registered at the start of the second quarter of 2011, is leading us to be cautious about sales in the remainder of the year," said Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi, in a report.

Gartner said handset shipments for the first quarter of 2011 reached 427.8 million, up 19% on year. Nokia held onto its place at the top of the market, shipping 107.56 million units, followed by Samsung and LG with 67.78 million and 24.0 million respectively (see table).

Smartphone shipments once again outpaced the rest of the market.

"Smartphones accounted for 23.6% of overall sales in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 85% year-on-year," said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. She said smartphones could have accounted for an even bigger share, but handset makers unveiled a number of new devices in the first quarter that will not ship until Q2.

"We believe some consumers delayed their purchases to wait for these models," said Cozza.

Android took the largest share of the smartphone operating system market, shipping 36.7 million devices, followed by Symbian and Apple iOS with 27.6 million and 16.88 million respectively.

"Windows Phone saw only modest sales that reached 1.6 million units in the first quarter of 2011, as devices launched at the end of 2010 failed to grow in consumer preference and CSPs continued to focus on Android," said Gartner.

However, the company expects Nokia's switch to Windows Phone for upcoming devices will accelerate the momentum behind Microsoft's smartphone platform, propelling it to the number two spot by 2015.

In the meantime Cozza said Nokia's retirement of Symbian will "precipitate a competitors' rush to capture Symbian's market share in the mid-tier".

Gartner also highlighted the growing importance for smartphone players to build loyalty by tying consumers in to their experiences.

"Every time a user downloads a native app to their smartphone or puts their data into a platform's cloud service, they are committing to a particular ecosystem," said Cozza.

"This is a clear advantage for the stronger ecosystem owners Apple and Google," she said. "As well as putting their devices in the context of a broader ecosystem, manufacturers must start to see their smartphones as part of a computing continuum."

Источник: Total Telecom

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